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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or Staffgreyscale42 Date: Jul 20, 2010 9:14pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Is Night Of The Demon Under Copyright?

I've been doing a lot of research and its hard to tell if Night Of The Demon (the 1950s version not the 1980s one) is still under copyright.

I have seen a few sites that claim its public domain and even one that allowed you to watch it streaming. Is there a good online resource to find out if a movie is copyrighted? Does anyone know for sure?

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Poster: Moongleam Date: Jul 20, 2010 10:28pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Is Night Of The Demon Under Copyright?

Renewals for films released 1950--1963 can be searched here:

http://cocatalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&;PAGE=First

However, if a film released in 1950 was renewed in 1977 instead of 1978, you'll have to find it at HathiTrust.

"Night of the Demon" is British, so determining its status may be difficult.

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Poster: Moongleam Date: Jul 20, 2010 11:08pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Is Night Of The Demon Under Copyright?

Was this renewal too late?

Curse of the demon. By Sabre Film Productions, Ltd.
Type of Work: Entry not found.
Registration Number / Date: RE0000267423 / 1985-12-12
Renewal registration for: LP0000011544 / 1958-07-04 (in notice: 1957)
Title: Curse of the demon. By Sabre Film Productions, Ltd.
Copyright Claimant: Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. (PWH)

Variant title: Curse of the demon
Names: Sabre Film Productions, Ltd.
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.

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Poster: billbarstad Date: Jul 21, 2010 5:42am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Is Night Of The Demon Under Copyright?

The only way the movie could have been properly renewed is if the date in notice was between 12/12/57 and 12/31/57 inclusive, since for the film to be timely renewed it had to be renewed between the 27th and 28th anniversary of the calendar day of registration based on the year in notice not the year of registration (link). The recorded document doesn't give the exact date in notice, unfortunately. I vaguely remember reading in this forum that some leeway on this rule is granted by the courts, though.

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Poster: billbarstad Date: Jul 21, 2010 7:30am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Is Night Of The Demon Under Copyright?

I didn't get that right. The film had to be properly renewed within a year, either way, of the 28th anniversary of its date in notice, though the date range for registration of 12/12/57 and 12/31/57 is correct. Doesn't matter anyway, since Video-Cellar checked it, and the movie's copyright was properly renewed.

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffVideo-Cellar Date: Jul 21, 2010 5:58am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Is Night Of The Demon Under Copyright?

The copyright for this film is complicated.

The original British cut was released in December 1957 in the UK, so the film falls into the category of films made between 1 July 1957 and 30 June 1989, that continue to have a copyright term of 50 years under the transitional terms of the 1988 UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act. So the film has been in the public domain since 2008 in the UK, its country of origin. However, there are probably underlying rights, literary or musical, that would make the film difficult to exploit.

The film was released in an edited form as "Curse of the Demon" in 1958 in the US. The original British cut was probably not published officially in the US until it was included on the DVD with "Curse of the Demon" and the extra scenes would have been protected as an unpublished work up until that point. "Curse of the Demon" was properly registered and renewed and contained a valid notice. So its full term of copyright was secured.

Because the US has not adopted the rule-of-the-shorter-term (term comparison), the fact that the original film has entered the public domain in the UK has no impact on the status of the US copyright which will continue for at least 45 years longer than the UK copyright.

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or Staffgreyscale42 Date: Jul 21, 2010 9:12am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Is Night Of The Demon Under Copyright?

Is that 45 years after it was renewed? Because if the copyright is only extended 45 years after it was renewed (in 1958 according to the previous post) then it is in the public domain in the United States. It has been 52 years since then.

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or Staffgreyscale42 Date: Jul 21, 2010 9:14am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Is Night Of The Demon Under Copyright?

Oh wait never mind. I see that I was wrong. The previous post claims copyright renewal in 1985.